Covington & Burling Signs Up Former Sen. Gordon Smith

Posted March 3, 2009 at 9:38am

Former Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith (R) is joining Covington & Burling as a senior adviser. The two-term Senator was defeated for re-election in 2008 by Democrat Jeff Merkley.

He said he chose Covington because of the type of work it would allow him to do.

“They made me an offer that was very appealing … with particular focus on international trade and foreign relations, which were my first loves in the Senate,— Smith said.

Smith’s hire is just one of several Republicans the firm has brought on in recent weeks.

In the past month, Covington added Ambassador John Veroneau, who most recently served as deputy U.S. trade representative in the Bush White House.

Bill Wichterman also rejoined the firm after a stint as special assistant to the president and deputy director of public liaison.

Despite the multiple GOP pickups of late, Martin Gold, co-chair of Covington’s government affairs practice, says that the law firm is still committed to maintaining its bipartisanship.

“We are looking to make certain that this practice group remains balanced, and we’ll be strengthening the group on the Democratic side as well as Republican,— Gold said.

Smith, who is banned from lobbying both the House and the Senate for two years because of ethics rules, will concentrate on consulting work in the near term.

He is also expecting to be waived into the D.C. bar.